Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Day Before All Saints Day Everyone

Matt and I snuck in an at home date night tonight and watched Young Frankenstein AND The Proposal. Quite opposite movies. Both...enjoyable.

But this scene, you should watch at least once a month. Or whenever you need a laugh in your life.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween, Preview Edition

We had a dry run at Halloween this afternoon.

The irony of all ironies is Lucy wanting to be Dora.

I am slightly more than devastated at not having a "family" costume this year, but you can only fight so many battles on so many fronts.
Maybe next year I'll have more in the tank.

Best Sister in the World

The only reason I ever give thought to have another child, is simply this:
To give Lucy a sister.

I love my big sister more than I can really talk about here.
We talk daily all about big things like how to handle discipline issues, best cook a lasagna and how to get a stain out of leather shoes.

But we also talk about the little things like how cute Mr. Shuster is on Glee, how a hilarious costume for Halloween would be if a man taped Massengill to his chest with a little baggie underneath it and if only NJ were next to NC.

We are different in so many ways, it makes our friendship great because we can talk about a million things.
But since we came from the same family, we have a million things in common.
Does it get better than that?

Today it did.

She preordered me The Pioneer Woman Cooks and it arrived on my doorstep today.

She loves me. She REALLY LOVES ME!

It's her birthday next week and well...I think my gift for her pales in comparison.
Oh well. I guess I win this time round :)
Love you!

Give It Up For Blair Please

No, I haven't fallen off of the earth.

I just hit a major professional speedbump about two weeks ago and I can not come up for air on the blog. Sorry about that.

But can we please give it up for my friend Blair on The Other
Girlfriend just spent the last year losing over 50 pounds through hard as crap work at the gym plus Weight Watchers, plus a whole bunch of other stuff.

She and Josh stopped by our house on Sunday (along with about 15 other people) and she looked incredible. Way to go Blair!
Go read about her story on her blog:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Myth vs. Reality

When Matt and I are in town on a weekend (rarely) it turns into a work day. As in work on all the crap that we have been putting off forever day.
One of those things is our cars.
We have a basic disagreement about some things with our cars and the most obvious of these is the oil change. Matt has car care guilt about getting the oil changed if it is over 3,000 miles and I think (know) that it can several thousand miles over that.

Today I received vindication from the consumer reports blog. Here is the article:

Car care: Myths vs. reality

ASE_imageWhen it comes to maintaining your car, misconceptions abound. And even the best intentions can lead you to spend more money than necessary or even compromise your safety. Here are a few common car care myths that can do more harm than good.

Myth: Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.

Reality: Despite what oil companies and quick-lube shops often claim, it’s usually not necessary. Stick to the service intervals in your car’s owner’s manual. Under normal driving conditions, most vehicles are designed to go 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Changing oil more often doesn’t hurt the engine, but it can cost you a lot of extra money. Automakers often recommend 3,000-mile intervals for severe driving conditions, such as constant stop-and-go driving, frequent trailer-towing, mountainous terrain, or dusty conditions.

Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall.

Reality: The pounds-per-square-inch figure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure that the tire can safely hold, not the automaker’s recommended pressure, which provides the best balance of braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort. That figure is usually found on a doorjamb sticker, in the glove box, or on the fuel-filler door. Perform a monthly pressure check when tires are cold or after the car has been parked for a few hours.

Myth: If regular-grade fuel is good, premium must be better.

Reality: Most vehicles run just fine on regular-grade (87 octane) fuel. Using premium in these cars won’t hurt, but it won’t improve performance, either. A higher-octane number simply means that the fuel is less prone to pre-ignition problems, so it’s often specified for hotter running, high-compression engines. So if your car is designed for 87-octane fuel, don’t waste money on premium.

Myth: After a jump-start, your car will soon recharge the battery.

Reality: It could take hours of driving to restore a battery’s full charge, especially in the winter. That’s because power accessories, such as heated seats, draw so much electricity that in some cars the alternator has little left over to recharge a run-down battery. A “load test” at a service station can determine whether the battery can still hold a charge. If so, some hours on a battery charger might be needed to revive the battery to its full potential.

Myth: Let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving.

Reality: That might have been good advice for yesteryear’s cars but is less so today. Modern engines warm up more quickly when they’re driven. And the sooner they warm up, the sooner they reach maximum efficiency and deliver the best fuel economy and performance. But don’t rev the engine high over the first few miles while it’s warming up.

Myth: A dealership must perform regular maintenance to keep your car’s factory warranty valid.

Reality: As long as the maintenance items specified in the vehicle owner’s manual are performed on schedule, the work can be done at any auto-repair shop. If you’re knowledgeable, you can even do the work yourself. Just keep accurate records and receipts to back you up in case of a warranty dispute on a future repair.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Has It Really Been A Week?

We did in fact survive a weekend at Rockbridge last weekend. More than survive-it was awesome. I loved getting away with my high school friends, even though I was throughly beaten by the week prior to leaving (more on that later). It was so fun to get away and play and laugh and love them. It was freezing-an early entrance to winter was very unwelcome on the weekend...but that's okay!
It just means more time for high school girls to wear UGGS. Seriously. Out of say 400 girls in camp, I would say 389 had a pair on at some point in the weekend.
Not me.
Cause my husband wouldn't let me buy a pair at this years Lost and Found Auction. (I'm not still mad about that or anything)
But here are some fun pictures to review:

Giant group photo. Yay for groups!

Let's do a crazy one. Let's even include the plant. Also, look way to the left of the picture to the girl in the green pants pushing 100 high school kids. What will happen when she does this?
Oh look! The most fun they've ever had taking pictures AND breaking their leg at the same time. Thanks to the 31 year-old mom!

Just so all of you know for future reference:
The game to not really play with high school kids is called "Apples to Apples"
One of my usual favorites. But it's terrible to play with people have 1) not developed a sense of irony and 2) have no sense of history; pop, cultural, literal or their own.

This was an actual sentence out of a girls mouth, "Why are dead people included in this game?" Dead people? They suck. I mean they are of no use to me. Who is this guy? His name is stupid. What kind of name is Humphry Bogart anyway?"

I proceeded to scratch my eyeballs out and pretended to enjoy the rest of game without winning a single round simply because their rationale for selecting a winner made no sense whatsoever to me. It was not based on making sense, or making fun of the game (like most adults would play the game). I think it had to do with colors or something. I don't know. But we did play it for about an hour. The hives are going away now.

It is always helpful to remind myself in these situations that the freshman in my cabin were born when I was junior in high school; 1995. Which means they were FIVE YEARS OLD in 2000. Just saying. Bad game. Bad bad game.
Also it was a new perspective on the name Humphry.

Oh! I almost forgot! We made this video for our banquet this year and thought my loyal readers would like it. It's a YoungLife-A-Pa-Looza post!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's That Time Again

We are taking high school kids to a weekend camp at Rockbridge this weekend.
I am really REALLY excited about it.
But I also know what a lot of them are coming into the weekend with.

And I am also aware of how tired and worn down I am coming into the weekend simply because this has been a beating of a week.

I've been reading All Quiet on the Western Front and saw this quote:

"We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial. I believe we are lost."

I think that sums up high school kids.
I think that's a pretty good summary of me.

Have mercy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Cowbell

With great sadness I have to announce that I have lost my ipod.
I initially lost it to the fact that it was not aging gracefully and did not make the leap to itunes 9.

But then itunes announced a bunch of fixes and I went to find my now defunct ipod and I can not locate it. As in, disappeared. Never to be seen again. Maybe. I have truly turned my house upside down and can't find it.

It doesn't really matter because of course, I have now fallen in love with an itouch ipod.
How has this happened?

Well, an irresponsible high school boy left his itouch in Matt's car last week and we didn't know who's it was. So, I had to find out. In the middle of finding out, I found out I love the itouch.

Of course, I don't believe this h.s. boy DESERVES said itouch for several reasons:
1) on an 8gb itouch he has only 192 songs. It holds over 4,000. I have since found out that high school kids just erase songs they don't like/tired of. ERASE SONGS. That they paid for. What? I can't fathom. What would I do without my entire Ren and Stimpy soundtrack?

2) He hasn't noticed it missing yet. We have had it now for nearly two weeks. Not out of spite. I tried to give it to him several times. He keeps re-forgetting it. This is why you are not allowed to have nice things I think in my mom voice in my head.

3) He has not initiated the mail feature, the calendar feature, no pictures, no applications other than games. So this is just a video game machine. *sigh*

4) I took the ipod with me to the Y last night to go running and I selected one of his playlists just for fun to see what it would do for me. This is how it went:
The Killers: some song I didn't know but was fun
The Turtles: So Happy Together. Really?

Just watch this and you tell me if you think a high school would normally have this on their ipod:
Then there was a song called "Kiss me Through the Phone" which is a pop-hip-hop song. Full of nonsense but fun. I like it. Weird to follow the Turtles? Yes. Especially when you hear the sentiment "Kiss me through the phone" over and over again.

After that...Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. For real.
Which means I can only think of this skit on Saturday Night Live the whole time.

Oh high school kid. Tell you what. I will trade you a real crappy 6 year old ipod Nano for your itouch. Cause, I have one of those that I am using in the meantime and I hate it. Whatdya say? No? I didn't think so.

So instead, I need all of you blog readers to click like crazy on all the ads on my pages so I can afford to buy a new ipod. Kay? Thanks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dog or Child? You decide.

Tough call.
Both are lying on couches in my house.
Under blankets.
On pillows.


And yes, that is a plate of play food set beside Slappy for a meal "for later." I guess that meant, after her nap. My kids are so thoughtful.

Come Thou Fount

"When you get exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, or run down, your body is saying that you are doing things that are none of your business. God does not require of you what is beyond your ability, what leads you away from God, or what makes you depressed or sad. God wants you to live for others and to live that presence well. Doing so might include suffering, fatigue, and even moments of great physical pain, but none of this must ever pull you away from your deepest calling and God."
-Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

thanks Amy Noll.

It Ain't Sunday If there Ain't Football On

We got a call on Saturday night seeing if we wanted two free tickets to the Carolina Panthers/Redskins game on Sunday at 1pm.

Well yes we did.
This guy was there.

So was this guy.

It was really fun to have an entire day to ourselves to catch up, spend time together in the car without a video playing, or music that involved xylophones or someone asking for gum, sippie cups or asking to go to the potty the entire time.
Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fun Friday


Since we went to the Apple Orchard last Friday and our plans for this Friday fell through, Natalie Knauer and I decided to take the kids hiking up on Craggy Mountain on Friday morning. It's not a terrible hike at all and the kids were up for the adventure, so off we went!

Everything went really well until I took maybe one too many pictures and Lucy decided she was done snapping pictures. Asher was having a hard time listening and Bennett likes to do whatever Asher does. So...things went rapidly downhill as we descended down.

We made it to the car with only one real meltdown, then child #2 had a meltdown in the car. Followed by the third child melting down shortly thereafter. Know what I call that? Hitting for the cycle. (It is October after all!)

But it was all worth it for the pictures. The dadgum pictures.
But for real, click here to look at all of the pictures in the collage above: Craggy Mountain Pictures

Tonight, Matt and I got a call from a friend who had to give up their amazing Redskins/Panthers tickets for tomorrow and wanted to know if we wanted them. Well yes we do! So we have a date at the Bank of America stadium at 1pm tomorrow!

Look for us on TV. Just kidding. A little.
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Adorable Boy


This picture was taken yesterday morning as Ash was heading out the door to school. He just looked too cute and too grown up to resist him. That hat is his t-ball team, kids-sized hat that is extended ALL THE WAY. We have to take him to Lids to buy an adult sized Red Sox hat just so he doesn't hate wearing them. Poor kid.

Also, that face? He tells me that is his "Tom Face." It is apparently the face that Tom from "Tom and Jerry" makes all the time. So, Asher does too. I can hardly get him to take a straight picture.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

What is That?

Take a look at this amazing short film, you won't be sorry.
I promise.

I'm going to hug my kids now....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Weekend of Birthday Wishes

We spent the weekend wishing our children's friends and now our children's friends a "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

My dearest friend Robin's baby Ruby made it to one. So she had a garden party that was fantastic. Asher had a t-ball game, so Lucy got all dolled up and we went to the party. It was so fun, cause Robin is fun. Take a look.

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And then came Bennett's 3rd Birthday party.
The theme for this party? Sugar. Sugar. And more Sugar.
So Asher actually said this sentence,
"This is the best birthday party that I have ever been to."

Riding bikes was followed by a sports ball "easter egg hunt" filled with candy.
Onto a Pinata filled with candy (and other healthy items-YUCK)
Then cake and juice boxes.
Onto cotton candy fresh from cotton candy machine from Windy Gap.

Best Birthday Party indeed.
Wanna see what that does to SOME children?

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Hello Pinata. Bennett is very VERY intense about it.

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The whole crowd is excited about the cake.

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Happy Birthday Big Boy!

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He got a ton of pirate gear, which then led to a pirate war.
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Here is the girls vs. the boys in the pirate war. It starts early doesn't it kids?

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And I can only imagine EXACTLY what he is saying to her here. But I had to stifle the laughter to get the shot.

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Mmmmm. Cotton Candy.
Yes, the sugar wore off about 30 minutes after we left Windy Gap. I had to put on a movie at home, snuggle up on the couch with the kids and we all fell asleep for two hours.
It was fantastic.

If you click on any of the pictures, it ought to take you to the Picasa photo album that I created for both parties. They were both really fun. Now all Lucy can talk about is her own birthday. Which apparently has to involve a pretty dress, a crown and slippers.
Amazing already.